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Biodiesel Groundbreaking

Biodiesel Groundbreaking
Seeking shelter from a welcome rain, those participating in the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon include, from left, Barton Rice of EC2055, Bishop Larry Abernathy Sr. of Blessed Ministries CDC, Ataollah Masoodzadehann of Phoenix Petroleum, Chamber Chairman William Davis, Mayor Ric Hall, County Commission Chairman Richard Ward and Development Authority Chairman Olin Thompson.
Photo by Buck Taylor

Despite the wise old saying, every now and then there IS a time when you can "have your cake and eat it, too."

Such was the case Thursday afternoon in the industrial park when the groundbreaking for a biodiesel facility was held in a downpour of rain.

While a bright sunny sky would have been welcomed by everyone huddled underneath a tent for the groundbreaking, everyone taking part in the ceremony was thankful for the rain, a most important and too rare of a resource during the recent drought.

"I thank everyone for coming out in the rain today," stated Ataollah Masoodzadehann of Phoenix Petroleum. "I especially thank the people from our alliance companies who have traveled from all over the country to be here with us today."

A number of those attending the ceremony were from Seattle, Houston, New York, Louisiana, Florida, and North Carolina representing companies which will be involved in the project.

"We love this community," he said. "As your county chairman said, we, too, want to keep the charm of this community. I have lived here (Dougherty County) for eight years and we love South Georgia. We are going to build a facility we can all be proud of and prosper together."

The facility, a $10 million petroleum and biofuels distribution, production and mixing plant with initial capacity of producing 20 million gallons per year, will be built by Texas-based Phoenix Petroleum.

The biodiesel plant would be modular in design, making expansion easier. Phase 2 and 3 will include a fuel mixing facility and a distribution center amounting to an additional $15 million in capital investment.

The company expects to provide approximately 100 employment opportunities the first year and up to 200 jobs in two years of operation. Projected sales are $75.9 million with a profit of $1.2 million in the first year.

The facility will be located on approximately 30 acres in the industrial park located across the highway from Golden Peanut Co.

Masoodzadehan, president of Phoenix Petroleum, a full service equipment and solutions provider that services drilling contractors, petrochemical refineries, along with other industrial entities, said he is committed to making the plant a model for other companies interested in locating in Early County.

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